Jakarta (ANTARA) - Death toll in the greater Jakarta and Banten floods and landslides increased, from 43 to 46, while 173,064 sought refuge in safe places, Friday, 11 p.m. local time, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) revealed.

The flooding swamped a wide range of areas in various sub-districts in the provinces of Jakarta, West Java, and Banten, the agency's spokesman, Agus Wibowo, noted in a press statement made available to ANTARA in Jakarta on Friday evening.

The flash floods, caused by high-intensity rainfall over the past three days, swamped several areas of 18 sub-districts in Bekasi District, 17 sub-districts in Jakarta, and 13 sub-districts in Bogor District and Tangerang City respectively.

The disaster also affected 12 sub-districts in Bekasi City, 11 sub-districts in Depok City, and six sub-districts in Lebak District, Bogor City, and Tangerang Selatan City respectively, Wibowo stated.

Consequently, floodwaters, submerging houses, led to the forced displacement of 149,537 residents of Bekasi City in West Java Province. They were accommodated at 97 temporary shelters, while 11,474 Jakartans also took refuge and stayed at 66 temporary shelters.

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The catastrophe that struck in early January has, until now, claimed the lives of 46 people in Bogor District, Bekasi City, Jakarta, Lebak District, Tangerang Selatan City, Depok City, Bogor City, and Bekasi District, he confirmed.

The agency also reported on a resident of Lebak District in Banten Province going missing.

People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) Speaker Bambang Soesatyo urged central and regional governments and communities to not engage in a blame game over the catastrophe.

In its place, Soesatyo called on all related parties within the central and regional governments, whose areas were ravaged by the catastrophe over these past three days, to strengthen synergy and cooperation to prevent a relapse of a similar disaster in future.

In helping social workers provide food packs for the flood survivors in Jakarta, state-owned oil and gas company PT Pertamina (Persero) distributed 146 Bright Gas and 12-kilogram gas canisters to handle the demands of 13 public kitchens.

The company's spokesperson, Dewi Sri Utami, had stated earlier that the gas canisters were distributed to the public kitchens on Thursday after authorities from PT Pertamina's Marketing Operation Region III coordinated with the staff of BNPB and Jakarta's Social Affairs Office.

A total of 146 gas canisters were handed over to 13 of the 20 public kitchens that the authorities had set up around the capital city to provide food packs to the flood survivors, she remarked, adding that the gas canisters will again be distributed to those in need.

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Translator: Virna PS, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Sri Haryati
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